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Prep notes: Highland star’s college of choice closed by coronavirus

Highland’s Tommy Huynh has to reconsider his college basketball options. The school in Wisconsin he had planned to attend is closing due to financial problems caused by the coronavirus. (New Mexico Activities Association)

COVID-19’s toll includes one Albuquerque athlete – who isn’t sick.

The coronavirus was a contributing factor in the permanent closing of Holy Family College in Wisconsin – where Highland point guard Tommy Huynh had already signed to play.

“I thought there was a possibility, but after I found out, it was just kind of heartbreaking,” said the 5-foot-9 Huynh, who played four varsity seasons with the Hornets. “It’s a school I wanted to go to. The coaching staff wanted me. I have a lot of remorse for the athletes at Holy Family, (because) the coaches have to find new jobs and the players have to find new homes.”

Holy Family is located in Manitowoc, southeast of Green Bay. The school already was facing decreased enrollment, and the coronavirus added exponentially to the school’s financial issues.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Huynh said. “I’m trying to find the positive light in that.”

Huynh has had to re-open his recruitment. He said Arizona Christian University in Phoenix, a top NAIA school, has already extended a scholarship offer, but hasn’t made up his mind on his next step.

“It has really caught my eye,” Huynh said. “But I will keep my options open.”

WRESTLING CHANGES: The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has made some changes going forward, many of them related to the rise in numbers of female wrestlers.

For example, a legal uniform must be worn now during weigh-ins, for both genders. This will allow officials to begin to conduct weigh-ins together.

Also, the NFHS has removed a hair-length rule nationwide after Tennessee successfully experimented with relaxed hair restrictions this past season.

The NFHS called this a “monumental” change, and said it will help make wrestling more appealing to younger athletes. But hair control devices cannot be hard, abrasive or sharp. Hair covers must be attached to the ear guards.

Since hair length is no longer restricted, pulling an opponent’s hair will now be considered as unnecessary roughness during a match.

ANDERSH NOT RETURNING: When Kevin Andersh said last June that he was taking a leave of absence as the Volcano Vista baseball coach in 2020, it was left somewhat open-ended as to whether he’d return to the Hawks for the 2021 season.

He won’t be back.

Andersh told the Journal that he plans simply to stay away from coaching for the time being. He led the Hawks to the Class 5A state championship last year, then announced his leave a few weeks later.

His career record is 307-103 in 15 overall seasons with Volcano Vista and Albuquerque Academy.

Assistant Todd Flores was coaching Volcano Vista on an interim basis this year before all the spring sports were canceled because of the coronavirus. It is not immediately known if Flores will be given the job full time going forward.

GATORADE STATUS QUO: Gatorade has announced that it will give out Athlete of the Year awards to spring athletes in 2020, even though nearly all the seasons were canceled by COVID-19.

ATHLETE UPDATES: St. Pius held a virtual signing day last week for a few seniors. Athletes involved were Hayden Walker (baseball, Pepperdine); Mason Ashcraft (baseball, UNM); Adrienne Dexel (swimming, University of St. Mary, Kansas); Delaney Fenton (volleyball, Ohio Northern University); Cameron Martinez (beach/indoor volleyball, MiraCosta College, California); Ethan Johnson (soccer, University of Dallas); Brody Cast (rugby, Central Washington University); Hannah Irons (soccer, Lubbock Christian) and Ryan Schwaner (golf, Regis University, Denver). … Eldorado lineman Joey Burke said he will be playing at Benedictine College in Kansas. … La Cueva wrestler Barrett Haemker has signed with Division II Central Oklahoma. … Cleveland basketball player Aidan Moreno has committed to the University of the Southwest in Hobbs. … Former Rio Rancho High hoops standout David Patterson will next play for Gillette College in Wyoming. … Cibola volleyball hitter and track athlete Angelina Oliver said on Twitter she would attend New Mexico Highlands. … Volcano Vista basketball guard Dion Battle also used social media to announce his decision to play for Northwestern Colorado. … Cibola girls basketball player Adamari Waddell has committed to Collin College in Texas.

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